For Peter Beinart, all roads lead to indignant shouting over the brutal occupation. Today, that road is on the back of Elie Wiesel.
One can almost hear Peter sighing in exasperation: Ah, Elie, your love of Jews and Israel is blinding you to their faults. Elie, in your widely published letter you baselessly accuse the Obama administration of agreeing to a terrible deal with Iran. Peter then asks: “What makes the deal, which has not even been struck, ‘terrible?’ Wiesel doesn’t say.”
While we’re asking questions, here’s one for you, Peter: you have repeatedly denounced Netanyahu for his planned speech to Congress. What makes Bibi’s impending speech, which has not even been uttered, terrible? You haven’t said.
And here’s a negotiating tip for ya, Peter. Your initial bargaining position is just that – a bid. You have no hope of ending up with your opening offer after all the papers have been signed. For the longest time Netanyahu has been saying that Obama’s offer to Iran is unacceptable to Israel. You’re a smart guy and you know how to read, so I know you know this. So really, what’s bugging you?
Your second problem with Wiesel is that he claims in the letter that a nuclear Iran would likely mean “‘the annihilation and destruction’ of Israel.” Well, not quite. What Wiesel actually said was that the Iranian leader has called for the annihilation and destruction of Israel. Wiesel fears another Holocaust perpetrated by someone who has expressed this will. Peter, do you in good conscience think that Israel can really allow someone with genocidal tendencies to have access to nukes?
Peter continues with Wiesel’s troublesome blindness. Wiesel told us back in 2010 that “for the first time in history, Jews, Christians and Muslims all may freely worship at their shrines. And, contrary to certain media reports, Jews, Christians and Muslims ARE allowed to build their homes anywhere in [Jerusalem].”
But Peter Beinart got Wiesel on this point too. After all, everyone knows this is not true. In fact no one less than Daniel Seideman tells us that this is patently false: almost all of West Jerusalem is available for residence only to Israeli citizens and Diaspora Jews eligible to become Israeli citizens.
So yes, Peter, you are right and Wiesel was wrong. Wiesel should have said “for the first time in history Jews, Christians, and Muslims all may freely worship at their shrines and Jewish, Christian, and Muslim CITIZENS can build their homes anywhere in Jerusalem.”
But the Arabs of East Jerusalem have almost unanimously refused Israel’s offer of citizenship. And the Arabs of the Territories are not Israeli citizens, but are citizens of the Palestinian Authority. (That they have been denied the vote for almost a decade is not worthy of Peter’s consideration.)
So when Seideman tells us that it is easier for an Arab living outside of the PA to worship at the Al-Aqsah mosque than it is for a Palestinian Arab, it is a fatally flawed comparison. The Muslim pilgrim from Turkey, a nonbelligerent nation, will have to pass through security and passport control at Ben Gurion International Airport, while the Muslim in Ramallah, enemy territory, will have to pass through a local checkpoint.
And who is this Daniel Seideman? Only a prominent extreme left-wing activist, one who essentially excused the terrorists who injured him with a rock, because it was okay given their circumstances.
Which brings us to Peter’s methods. Why do you have no problem questioning Wiesel, but swallow Seideman’s assertions whole?